Illegal Appointments in Bihar Health Department: Reexamining the Case of Dr. A.A. Mallick

A significant legal judgment by the Supreme Court of India has brought to light the issue of illegal appointments in the Bihar Health Department. The case focuses on the reexamination of Dr. A.A. Mallick’s appointments, revealing irregularities and forged methods used in the recruitment process. Stay informed on the latest developments regarding this crucial matter.


  • The Division Bench set aside the order passed by the Single Bench on October 6, 2009.
  • Class III and Class IV posts in the health department were filled through irregular, illegal, and forged methods.
  • Appointments were made without availability of sanctioned posts by incompetent authorities.
  • The High Court directed the Department of Health in the Government of Bihar to reexamine affected employees’ cases based on relevant materials and legal precedent.
  • A Committee of five officers was appointed to examine individual cases.
  • Termination of services for certain employees led to numerous writ petitions.
  • Employees with ten years of service were entitled to regularization.
  • Termination orders were revisited based on the State Committee’s report categorizing candidates into different groups based on the nature of their appointments.
  • Inquiry in certain cases was found to violate principles of natural justice.
  • Writ petitions arising from the Committee report were allowed on October 6, 2009, directing reinstatement of employees.
  • The Division Bench’s order of September 24, 2014, was challenged by the State in various appeals before the High Court.
  • Dr. Mallick’s recruitments were found to be arbitrary and null according to Government orders.
  • The State Committee in the Purendra Sulan Kit case initiated a fresh recruitment exercise for Class III and Class IV employees due to irregularities.
  • Two categories of cases were identified – one involving forged nursing registration and the other involving illegal appointments based on forged documents.
  • A one-man Committee under Justice Uday Sinha was appointed to investigate the legality of appointments.
  • Appointments based on forged documents were deemed illegal and terminated without violating the principles of natural justice.
  • The forgery in the basic eligibility condition for ANM course vitiated the recruitment process.
  • Government Circulars from 1980 regarding Class III and IV posts were found to be illegal based on previous Court judgments.
  • Employees’ expectations of legitimate appointments were rejected based on Court decisions.
  • The State Committee concluded that all appointments made by Dr. Mallick were tainted from the start and needed to be set aside.

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  • Mr. Mukherjee, learned counsel for the State, mentioned various Government orders related to appointments in two categories: those made by incompetent authority and those made by competent authority without sanctioned posts and proper procedures.
  • There is no statutory rule for appointment to Class III and Class IV categories in the State, as it is regulated by Executive instructions and not by Article 309 of the Constitution.
  • Reference was made to the Bihar Health Manual by Mr. Mukherjee during the proceedings.

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  • The powers of the Assistant Director of Health Services are contained in Clause 9.
  • The Civil Surgeons in Districts, State Leprosy Officer, and Director, T.B. Demonstration Centre are subordinate to the Director of Health Services.
  • Dr. A.A. Mallick appointed the respondent in a case, hence no right accrues in favor of the respondent.
  • Separate circulars were issued on December 3, 1980, for the procedure for the appointment on Category III and IV posts.
  • Appointments made by Dr. A.A. Mallick do not require re-examination.
  • The appointments made against Class III and Class IV posts have been proved to be made not against sanctioned posts and in an arbitrary manner.
  • The circular dated December 3, 1980, contemplated selection from a common merit list by competent authorities for certain posts.
  • Dr. Mallick, Deputy Director, was not competent to make appointments against Category III or IV posts.
  • On January 20, 1992, a circular regarding transfer and posting of Class III and IV employees was issued.
  • The powers of the Assistant Director for Public Health are defined in the Bihar Health Manual.
  • A circular was issued in 1979 regarding the retrenchment of employees appointed on temporary posts.
  • The Director of Health Services is the appointing authority for all non-gazetted appointments in the department.
  • The Assistant Director and Regional Deputy Director were incompetent to make appointments against sanctioned posts except in emergent cases.
  • Appointments were made to public posts without following procedures as per the Manual.
  • The Medical and Public Health Departments were amalgamated into one department under the Director of Health Services.
  • The High Court held that the right to salary, pension, and other service benefits in public service is entirely statutory.
  • Appointment letters issued without the approval of the competent authority are considered null and void.
  • Illegal appointments made without advertising the vacancies and without following proper recruitment procedures are deemed as backdoor entries.
  • The Court emphasized that illegal appointments do not give rise to any statutory entitlements for salary or other monetary benefits.
  • The Full Bench judgment was approved by a three Judge Bench.
  • The Court emphasized the importance of following the Compulsory Notification of Vacancies Act, 1959 in public sector establishments.
  • The Court clarified that a valid appointment is necessary for the right to salary to exist.

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Case Number: C.A. No.-007879-007879 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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